I saw the first of the 7-mile-long column appear – red and orange and green banners, ‘Ban the Bomb!’ etc., shining and swaying slowly. Absolute silence. I found myself weeping to see the tan, dusty marchers, knapsacks on their backs – Quakers and Catholics, Africans and whites, Algerians and French – 40 percent were London housewives.
The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs.
It was clear to many American working men and women that the Homestead Steel Strike of the early 1890s, when Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick broke the backs of the steel workers, that that was a watershed.
We must stop trying to protect our planet from every imaginable, exaggerated or imaginary risk. And we must stop trying to protect it on the backs, and the graves, of the nation’s and world’s most powerless and impoverished people.
The first thing I learned in boxing is to not get hit. That’s the art of boxing. Execute your opponent without getting hit. In sports school, we were putting our hands behind our backs and having to defend ourselves with our shoulders, by rolling, by moving round the ring, moving out feet.
When we are flat on our backs there is no way to look but up.
It’s hard for the donkeys to win the race if they’re going to carry the elephants on their backs.
Black people comprehend the South. We understand its weight. It has rested on our backs… I knew that my heart would break if ever I put my foot down on that soil, moist, still, with old hurts. I had to face the fear/loathing at its source or it would consume me whole.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.